Man at Hoboken LepreCon slugged cop, breaking 3 of her ribs, cops say
Two Hoboken police officers were injured making one of 15 arrests during Saturday's LepreCon St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Hundreds came to downtown Hoboken, which traditionally celebrates St. Patrick's Day on the first Saturday in March, for the LepreCon — an event sponsored by 20 bars and taverns, but not the municipality.
Hoboken Police said Christopher Smallwood, 24, of Warminster, Penn. was involved with a fight at a McDonald's early Sunday morning and then ran from the scene. When Smallwood, a former college football player, was confronted by two officers on the street, Smallwood slugged officer Christine Collins so hard she broke three ribs, police said. He struck Sgt. Steve Aguiar hard enough to dislocate Aguiar's shoulder, police said.
The officers were released from Hoboken University Medical Center and are on injured status, police said. Smallwood turned himself into police on Sunday afternoon and was charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault.
Fifteen people were arrested during the event, with 54 city ordinance summonses issued — mostly for drinking in public, urinating in public, disorderly house parties, and disorderly conduct. Thirty-five people were hospitalized, according to police.
“I am disturbed by the repeated behavior that is occurring on these types of themed events, and have several measures that I am exploring with my command staff that I feel needs to be taken," Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante said in a statement on the city Facebook page. "I will not tolerate having any of our officers injured, for the purposes of a few to make a financial profit at the expense of our residents, and for the purposes of promoting deviant behavior attached to various holidays, which results in citizens and officers being hospitalized."
Ferrante said he had 200 officers on the street on Saturday from his own department as well as those from several other departments.
Hoboken ended its traditional St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2011 after 34 arrests were made, with 296 tickets issued for violating city ordinances. That year, 136 were hospitalized. Mayor Dawn Zimmer had sought to move the parade to a Wednesday but parade organizers canceled it because most participants work during the week and could not make it, according to a Jersey Journal report at the time.
A promotional video from last year's Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Celebration